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06 Feb

Write the next agenda any time you like

Datum: 2024-02-06 09:34
A group of professionals is gathered around a table in a meeting, working on various tasks with laptops, tablets, notepads, and a calculator.

Have you ever been in charge of a recur­ring meet­ing in a project or a col­lab­o­ra­tion, and when the meet­ing is about to start you ask your­self What are we going to talk about today?” — and you have gone com­plete­ly blank? You know it has hap­pened things dur­ing the week which you should dis­cuss, but you just can­not remem­ber what it was right now.

For you who pre­fer lis­ten­ing to read­ing, this post is also avail­able as an episode of the Done!” pod­cast:

Or, have you been about to leave a meet­ing and come to think of some­thing you real­ly should have brought up dur­ing the meet­ing just as you are step­ping out of the door­way? It would have been great if it had been on the agen­da at the begin­ning of the meet­ing. And what a relief it would be if the agen­da could more or less write itself pri­or to the meet­ing so that these things would no longer occur.

Like a sud­den snow­fall in May 

It is not always easy to recall what we ought to bring up as we sit down to pre­pare the agen­da for a meet­ing. On the con­trary, the ideas tend to spring up any­time in between the meet­ings, when we are on the go, when we are on a roll, or when the ques­tions are steam­ing hot and fresh at the top of our mind.

If we could eas­i­ly add items to the agen­da as things come to mind some­where where it will be eas­i­ly acces­si­ble dur­ing the meet­ing itself, the agen­da would be writ­ten pro­gres­sive­ly and with very lit­tle effort.

Close to the upcom­ing meeting 

As soon as you come to think of some­thing you want to dis­cuss dur­ing the next meet­ing, strive to make a note as close” to the meet­ing sit­u­a­tion as pos­si­ble so that you will not need to remem­ber to retrieve or bring the agen­da pri­or to the meeting.

It can be an agen­da doc­u­ment in a dig­i­tal fold­er that you share with your col­leagues. Or, you can write it direct­ly in the book­ing for the meet­ing in the cal­en­dar, such as in the Col­lab­o­ra­tive Meet­ing Notes fea­ture in Teams. Or some­where else where you will be” dur­ing the meeting.

A few years ago, every Mon­day, I had a meet­ing with a bureau I had been work­ing with for a while. We shared an ongo­ing log in Google Dri­ve where we made note of what we dis­cussed dur­ing the meet­ing, and where we kept the agen­da for the next meet­ing as well. Direct­ly after each meet­ing, the bureau’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive cre­at­ed an emp­ty agen­da for the next meet­ing which both of us filled in as soon as some­thing came up dur­ing the week. This made it easy for us to main­tain focus and keep a good tem­po dur­ing our meet­ings, as well as eas­i­ly get the things we decid­ed we would do dur­ing them, done.

Do this

Do you have upcom­ing meet­ings for which you could use an easy-to-fill-out agen­da but still do not have one set up? Decide exact­ly where you will keep or put the agen­da tem­plate from this day onwards. Will you put it in a fold­er, in a doc­u­ment, in an app, in OneNote, straight in the cal­en­dar or some­place entire­ly different?

Now do what remains to estab­lish that new place or loca­tion. It is prob­a­bly rather eas­i­ly fixed, so do it right away — it will be done quick­ly and you can then move on to oth­er things.

More mean­ing­ful meetings 

If you (and all the oth­ers who will join the meet­ing) have an eas­i­ly acces­si­ble place where you can add items to the agen­da at any time, it will become eas­i­er to get the right things done dur­ing your meet­ings. At the end of the meet­ing, you will remem­ber few­er things that should have been dis­cussed dur­ing it, and the risk of hav­ing longer meet­ings than nec­es­sary will decrease.

How do you do it? 

Do you have oth­er tricks or tips on how to write agen­das for meet­ings with min­i­mal effort? A pen­ny for your best idea. Please tell me.

(Have you heard about this cure for unfo­cused meet­ings?

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